How to Clean Your Home and Prevent Coronavirus
Few events in recent years have been as debilitating to entire countries and cultures as the novel coronavirus. During this global pandemic, it sometimes feels as if the whole world has nearly shut down. However, in spite of all the COVID-19 damage, there's still a deepening sense of unity and solidarity — the kind that puts the human in humanity.
Many people are isolating, not only because they don't want to get sick, but also because they fear they might make other people sick. One of the best ways to protect and prevent the spreading of COVID-19, or any disease for that matter, is to keep your household clean and healthy. Here are six of the best ways to ensure your home safe and spotless:
Wash Your Hands
It’s something we all are very attuned to in public; however, in the privacy of our own homes, we're less likely to wash our hands. If you want to keep your home coronavirus-free, you’ll need to practice handwashing more frequently. Rinse your hands for at least 20 seconds or try humming the tune of "Happy Birthday to You" while you wash. In between washings, use hand sanitizer. If you have an essential job that requires you to physically go into your workplace or you interact with other people in person, don't shake hands. Wash your hands in between each interaction and consider taking a full shower as soon as you get home from work.
Wipe Down Commonly-Used Items
Door knobs, light switches, and faucets are common items that get touched hundreds, if not thousands, of times every day. All that touching is a recipe for germs, allowing the fast-spreading coronavirus to easily spread. Most people don't realize that many viruses and bacteria can survive on a door knob for 24 hours, and some can even last as long as five months.
To protect yourself and your family, take the time to sweep through each room and wipe down commonly-touched surfaces with a disinfectant. Repeat the process multiple times each day, especially if your household has members who aren't isolating.
Change Out Your Bedding
During illnesses and outbreaks, wash your bedding twice as much as you usually do. If you normally do laundry once per week, that means you'll need to bump it up to twice weekly. Consider switching out pillow cases more often, especially if you know someone who has allergies or has a confirmed COVID-19 case. Of course, coronavirus isn't your only concern here. Failure to wash your sheets exposes you to fungi, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander that can cause a wide variety of health issues, ranging from allergies to infections.
Sanitize Your Kitchen and Bathroom
When it comes to sanitizing common areas and shared spaces of your home, such as the bathroom and kitchen, go beyond your regular cleaning routine and dive into a deep cleanse. You can use a disinfectant or create a diluted bleach solution. While it’s important to disinfect your whole house, these two rooms are especially critical in protecting you from COVID-19 and stopping its spread throughout your home.
Clean Your iPhone
Make sure all your electronics are wiped down at least once a day. Tablets, computers, laptops, smartphones, and other smart devices should be regularly cleaned. In fact, our devices are some of the most frequently-touched items that we often forget to clean. Did you know the average smartphone contains more than 25,000 bacteria per square inch? To prevent your phone from making you sick, you can purchase a water-resistant cover that can easily be wiped, cleaned, or sanitized to help prevent the spread of harmful germs.
Separate Yourself from Sickness
If someone in your house becomes ill, immediately isolate them to their own room. If possible, sick individuals should also use their own private bathroom. If you only have one shared bathroom in your home, be sure to clean and disinfect the bathroom in between each use. Ideally, the sick person should disinfect the bathroom after they use it.
Try to keep your food separate, as well. If at all possible, deliver meals to the person with the illness by leaving food outside their bedroom door, and maintain at least a six foot distance from that person if you pass them in the hallway. Additionally, if the person is an adult, ask them to sanitize any common spaces they use. If the sick person is a child, an adult or parent should sanitize spaces for them while wearing a mask and gloves.
Lastly, everyone in the household can benefit from wearing masks and gloves when they need to interact with each other. Remember, the coronavirus doesn't always cause visible symptoms. Even if someone seems to be feeling well, they could still be infected and shedding the virus, therefore accidentally passing it on to a loved one.
Protecting yourself from the novel coronavirus (or any other illness) starts with the home. Not only should everyone in your household be staying home more, but you should all be mindful of how you interact with others. Above all else, clean and sanitize your home. Keeping the surfaces free of bacteria, germs and viruses will protect individuals who live inside or outside your home.